Modifying Speech to Children Based on Their Perceived Phonetic Accuracy PurposeThe authors examined the relationship between adults' perception of the accuracy of children’s speech and acoustic detail in their subsequent productions to children.MethodTwenty-two adults participated in a task in which they rated the accuracy of 2- and 3-year-old children’s word-initial /s/ and /∫/ using a visual analog scale (VAS), then ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2012
Modifying Speech to Children Based on Their Perceived Phonetic Accuracy
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Hannah M. Julien
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Correspondence to Benjamin Munson: munso005@umn.edu
  • Editor: Anne Smith
    Editor: Anne Smith×
  • Associate Editor: Melanie Matthies
    Associate Editor: Melanie Matthies×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article   |   December 01, 2012
Modifying Speech to Children Based on Their Perceived Phonetic Accuracy
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2012, Vol. 55, 1836-1849. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0131)
History: Received May 26, 2011 , Revised October 24, 2011 , Accepted March 20, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2012, Vol. 55, 1836-1849. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0131)
History: Received May 26, 2011; Revised October 24, 2011; Accepted March 20, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

PurposeThe authors examined the relationship between adults' perception of the accuracy of children’s speech and acoustic detail in their subsequent productions to children.

MethodTwenty-two adults participated in a task in which they rated the accuracy of 2- and 3-year-old children’s word-initial /s/ and /∫/ using a visual analog scale (VAS), then produced a token of the same word as if they were responding to the child whose speech they had just rated.

ResultThe duration of adults' fricatives varied as a function of their perception of the accuracy of children’s speech: Longer fricatives were produced following productions that they rated as inaccurate. This tendency to modify duration in response to perceived inaccurate tokens was mediated by measures of self-reported experience interacting with children. However, speakers did not increase the spectral distinctiveness of their fricatives following the perception of inaccurate tokens.

ConclusionThese results suggest that adults modify temporal features of their speech in response to perceiving children’s inaccurate productions. These longer fricatives are potentially both enhanced input to children and an error-corrective signal.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Science Foundation Grant BCS 0729277 to Benjamin Munson and National Institutes of Health Grant R01 DC02932 to Jan Edwards. This work could not have been accomplished without input and support from Mary E. Beckman and Jan Edwards. Portions of this research were conducted as part of the first author’s 2010 master’s thesis in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the University of Minnesota. We generously thank Gerald Burke for many hours of volunteer work event-marking fricatives. We thank Kari Urberg-Carlson, Marie Meyer, and Eden Kaiser for assistance with subject testing. We thank Peter Watson and Mary E. Beckman for serving as committee members and for providing many useful comments on this work while it was in progress.
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